Comments: same-sex marriage: the quadruple locks

Firstly the thoroughness of TA in garnering and reporting interesting links makes this site indispensible in understanding the issues (not to mention those who post as well).

As to the so called quadruple lock the two Churches have only themselves to blame. The Church in Wales for saying in its submission that it was in an identical situation to the CofE and 'wanted whatever the CofE was getting' - well they now have that... The CofE surely knows it has behaved unreasonably and in a bullying, hectoring manner towards the government. You can only work with people who can be worked with and as regards same sex marriage they have declared war on the government (Sentamu anyone? calling Cameron a dictator?). The CofE has been instrumental in whipping up the passions of the Tory fringe. And they surely know that.

So the CofE entirely merits what is happening. (Some people are attacking the govt for their quad lock - I won't - these churches are simply not playing fair with the govt).

All the Church in Wales needs to do is write a letter to the relevant minister saying they don't want the quad lock and are happy with the triple lock. After all the E+W Bill has not yet been published.

The CofE can also write a letter. As they have 26 members of Parliament sitting in the Lords they can also amend the legislation themselves when it comes to the Lords.

What is worse than a quad lock? For the CofE being in the situation of agreeing it or asking for it to be lifted (thereby agreeing a triple lock preserves religious freedom on its own).

It is exquisite to see the CofE squirming and wriggling on this particular hook. I take no pleasure in seeing the Church in Wales caught up in the game playing of the CofE and hope they extricate themselves from that as soon as possible (though that necessitates them intoning that their situation is *very different* to that of the CofE....)

Posted by Craig Nelson at Friday, 14 December 2012 at 9:55am GMT

The Bishops don't like it because it show them for what they really are. Such an ugly reflection makes them question if their souls and rationales are quite as pure as they advertised.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Friday, 14 December 2012 at 11:24am GMT

Craig I entirely agree. Or as I put it in a tweet

@c_of_e by backfiring of its lobbying efforts, or as Richard Mottram famously said

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 14 December 2012 at 11:27am GMT

The legal clarity imposed by the Government puts an end to clerical double-talk and double-think. The possibility that priests would celebrate clandestine and confusing samesex marriages (as they might discreetly bless a samesex couple) of course troubles lawmakers.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Friday, 14 December 2012 at 11:59am GMT

'as opposed to other religious groups who will be allowed to opt out – should halt concern' (Jerome Taylor)

No ! More misinformation ! The 'other religious groups will be allowed to' OPT IN !

Be nice if writers could get the basics right when purporting to enlighten the public.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Friday, 14 December 2012 at 12:36pm GMT


So much for my so-called scaremongering The need to legislate the quadruple lock is merely to protect the government's own position.

As I replied to you on TA (22nd June): 'Schalk vs. Austria is about two civil partners petitioning the ECHR to be granted access to marriage, whereas the CofE response deals with the requirement to legislate equally, if the right to marry is extended to include same-sex couples.'

'So, if a member state decides to extend the right to marry beyond what is obliged, it cannot then implement legislation for that right in a manner that is perceived to be discriminatory.'

BTW, the locks are decoys, calculated to disperse a uniform voice of combined opposition by encouraging each religious organisation to fight for its own corner. Meanwhile, the ICBM of genderless marriage is deployed.

Hopefully, the CofE will see through it.

Posted by David Shepherd at Friday, 14 December 2012 at 2:00pm GMT

"Meanwhile, the ICBM of genderless marriage is deployed."

You're calling two people who love each other, and want civil marriage's rights AND responsibilities (w/ a possible faith blessing, as each faith group sees fit), an ***intercontinental ballistic missile*** (of the sort that might KILL tens of thousands)?

My God, David, do you ever listen to yourself? For Christ's sake!

Posted by JCF at Friday, 14 December 2012 at 8:02pm GMT

Dear David

I think you slightly miss the point. If you and I were both bishops (this is a strange thought but bear with me) then, although we held different sides of the argument we would both be broadly in favour of the fourth lock.

But the Church of England is very unhappy with the fourth lock. They haven't asked for it; weren't expecting it; don't want it - it makes them look like they're anti-gay (that thought had never crossed anyone's mind before).

So which is it? Either it is entirely needed - if the Church of England looks anti-gay that might be because it is. If it's upset at that it can allow Civil Partnerships (the ones they so fully support) to be celebrated in Churches. Or not if they're happy for the general populace to draw the conclusion the CofE is a bunch of homophobic sex obsessed weirdos. There's only so much the State can do to protect the Church from its own prejudices.

Or it is not needed (I assume that's what's being said at the moment). In which case the CofE needs to say what it would like in its place. And in doing so they would part company with you in your view the lock is necesary.

I don't think Schalk and Kopf is at all relevant. The ECtHR upholds freedom of religion and allows national bodies to balance competing rights.

As for the CofE 'seeing' anything I have my doubts - what they 'see' at any given time seems to change day by day by whatever turn of mood afflicts them (usually a whining victimhood type of mood from what I see).

Posted by Craig Nelson at Friday, 14 December 2012 at 11:33pm GMT

Genderless marriage?
Are same sex couples no longer male or female? What happens to them when they marry?

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 15 December 2012 at 11:11am GMT


If there is only one institution of marriage for everyone, whether heterosexual, same sex, transgender, or intersex, the proposals promise to end such discrimination by identifying the lowest common denominator for all. I've been told by my liberal opponents that sex and gender are not one and the same. The only solution would be to remove gender references entirely from the single institution of marriage. That would be genderless and frankly, I'm surprised the government didn't.

Unless, you want a two-track system of marriage, that discriminates between heterosexuals and homosexuals. 'Perish the thought!'

Posted by David Shepherd at Saturday, 15 December 2012 at 11:50am GMT

you have a point!
It will be interesting to see how the Bill is worded. If it speaks of "two people" and does not define them as "a man and a woman or two women or two men", then it would be open to all those groups of people you mention.
We live in hope!

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 15 December 2012 at 4:14pm GMT


("Unless, you want a two-track system of marriage, that discriminates between heterosexuals and homosexuals. 'Perish the thought!'")

Erica, your unnecessary sarcasm does not become you.

Posted by Colin at Sunday, 16 December 2012 at 11:14am GMT

That was David who said that, Colin. As usual. He does enjoy his little cruelties.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Tuesday, 18 December 2012 at 5:30am GMT
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